Holland and Uruguay are the first nations to name their provisional World Cup squads


Holland and Uruguay are the first two nations to name their provisional World Cup squads as countries gear up to announce who is contention for Qatar this winter.

The Oranje named a 39-man group that will have a chance to compete for a place at the World Cup, while Uruguay opted to submit a full list of 55 players to FIFA – with all countries required to send their squads to the world governing body today.

England are also expected to name their own provisional squad on Friday – with all eyes on whether manager Gareth Southgate will pick the injured Reece James and Kyle Walker.

Manchester City defender Walker is recovering from a groin injury and Chelsea star James has a more serious knee ligament problem.

Holland have included Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk, Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong, ex-Tottenham star Steven Bergwijn and Man United defender Tyrell Malacia on their list.

Newcastle defender Sven Botman also makes the cut, despite pulling out of the Under-21 squad last month to focus on playing for the Magpies.

There’s also places for PSV youngster Cody Gakpo and Bayern starlet Ryan Gravenberch – as well as Ajax prodigy Jurrien Timber.

For Uruguay, their chunky squad sees veteran Luis Suarez leading the way while recognisable names Diego Godin, Martin Cacares, Ronald Araujo, Edinson Cavani, Lucas Torreira, Federico Valverde and Matias Vecino are also involved.

England fans will now be looking ahead to see who makes Southgate’s squad on Friday, with question marks over names who haven’t played much football this season or those struggling with fitness issues.

Kalvin Phillips, who has played just 14 minutes all season, is also set to be included as he recovers from shoulder surgery but, like Walker and James, his hopes of making the final squad depend on how that recovery continues.

Joe Gomez and Eberechi Eze are also set to be included.

It is understood Southgate and his backroom team believe only 70 to 80 players are realistic contenders to be named in England squads, meaning the pool of talent available for a squad of up to 55 names is limited.

Part of the reason the FA introduced stricter work permit rules post-Brexit was to increase the number of players available for England.

However, clubs feel the rules restrict development as they believe young players can only fulfil their potential by training regularly with the world’s best.

Despite the FA’s fears over the lack of homegrown footballers at the top level, the likes of James Maddison, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho are in danger of being left at home.

All of them are likely to be named in Southgate’s provisional squad, but none can be guaranteed a place in his final party.


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